Third Position writes "A gene which may make people more intelligent has been discovered by scientists. Researchers have found that teenagers who had a highly functioning NPTN gene performed better in intelligence tests. It is thought the NPTN gene indirectly affects how the brain cells communicate and may control the formation of the cerebral cortex, the outermost layer of the human brain, also known as ‘grey matter.’" Link to Original Source top
Geeks for Monarchy: The Rise of the Neoreactionaries
Third Position writes "Many of us yearn for a return to one golden age or another. But there’s a community of bloggers taking the idea to an extreme: they want to turn the dial way back to the days before the French Revolution.
Neoreactionaries believe that while technology and capitalism have advanced humanity over the past couple centuries, democracy has actually done more harm than good. They propose a return to old-fashioned gender roles, social order and monarchy." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "The most unambiguous data to date on the elusive 113th atomic element has been obtained by researchers at the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-based Science (RNC). A chain of six consecutive alpha decays, produced in experiments at the RIKEN Radioisotope Beam Factory (RIBF), conclusively identifies the element through connections to well-known daughter nuclides. The search for superheavy elements is a difficult and painstaking process. Such elements do not occur in nature and must be produced through experiments involving nuclear reactors or particle accelerators, via processes of nuclear fusion or neutron absorption. Since the first such element was discovered in 1940, the United States, Russia and Germany have competed to synthesize more of them. Elements 93 to 103 were discovered by the Americans, elements 104 to 106 by the Russians and the Americans, elements 107 to 112 by the Germans, and the two most recently named elements, 114 and 116, by cooperative work of the Russians and Americans. With their latest findings, associate chief scientist Kosuke Morita and his team at the RNC are set follow in these footsteps and make Japan the first country in Asia to name an atomic element." Link to Original Source top
Cringely predicts IBM will shed 78% of US employees by 2015
Third Position writes "Cringely with more predictions about IBM: "The direct impetus for this column is IBM’s internal plan to grow earnings-per-share (EPS) to $20 by 2015. The primary method for accomplishing this feat, according to the plan, will be by reducing US employee head count by 78 percent in that time frame." So far, Cringely's pronouncements about IBM have been approximately true, even if he missed the exact numbers and timeframes. Is he right this time?" Link to Original Source top
EEOC: High school diploma requirement might violat
Third Position writes "Employers are facing more uncertainty in the wake of a letter from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission warning them that requiring a high school diploma from a job applicant might violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Employers could run afoul of the ADA if their requirement of a high school diploma screens out an individual who is unable to graduate because of a learning disability that meets the ADA's definition of disability, the EEOC explained." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "How well our brain functions is largely based on our family’s genetic makeup, according to a University of Melbourne led study.
The study published in the international publication The Journal of Neuroscience provides the first evidence of a genetic effect on how ‘cost-efficient’ our brain network wiring is, shedding light on some of the brain’s make up.
Lead author Dr. Alex Fornito from the Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre at the University of Melbourne said the findings have important implications for understanding why some people are better able to perform certain tasks than others and the genetic basis of mental illnesses and some neurological diseases." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "One and a half months ago, somebody walked off with Mark Bao's MacBook Air, which had been left unattended in a Bentley University lounge. Normally, this episode would have been entirely unremarkable except for a victim understandably frustrated, angry — and out-of-pocket to the tune of $1,000-plus. But Bao wasn't your typical 18-year-old freshman. He knew his way around a keyboard — and then some.
He had taken the precaution of installing online backup software (called BackBlaze) on the computer and that now allowed him to gain entry into the purloined machine's browser history as well as to view its hard drive where he could track any updates. "It was still backing up files when I logged in on Sunday," he said in an email to CBSNews.com."From the files on the computer and some legwork, I was able to track down who (the thief) was, his Facebook page, his email, and the (now) infamous videos," Bao noted." Link to Original Source top
Senators to Apple: Pull iPhone DUI checkpoint aler
Third Position writes "Four U.S. senators Tuesday called on Apple to yank iPhone and iPad apps that help drunken drivers evade police, saying the programs are "harmful to public safety."
Sens. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Charles Schumer (D-NY), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Tom Udall (D-NM) asked Scott Forstall, the head of Apple's iPhone software group, to pull an unspecified number of apps from the company's App Store. The senators also made similar requests of Google's CEO Eric Schmidt and Research in Motion's (RIM) co-CEOs, James Balsillie and Michael Lazaridis.
"Giving drunk drivers a free tool to evade checkpoints, putting innocent families and children at risk, is a matter of public concern," the senators said in a letter to the executives at the three companies. "We hope that you will give our request to remove these applications from your store immediate consideration."" Link to Original Source top
Poll: 52% Say Space Shuttle Program Has Been Worth
Third Position writes "A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 52% of Adults say the space shuttle program has been worth the expense to taxpayers. Twenty-eight percent (28%) disagree and feel the program has not been worth the expense. Twenty percent (20%) are not sure.
The number of Americans who feel the program has been worth what it cost is up 12 points from early January, when just 40% felt that way.
When it comes to cutting back on space exploration, Americans are evenly divided. Forty-one percent (41%) believe the United States should cut back on space exploration, down nine points from January, but an equal number (41%) disagree. Seventeen percent (17%) are not sure." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "Despite President Obama's pledge to retain more hi-tech jobs in the U.S., a federal agency run by a hand-picked Obama appointee has launched a $36 million program to train workers, including 3,000 specialists in IT and related functions, in South Asia. Following their training, the tech workers will be placed with outsourcing vendors in the region that provide offshore IT and business services to American companies looking to take advantage of the Asian subcontinent's low labor costs. Under director Rajiv Shah, the United States Agency for International Development will partner with private outsourcers in Sri Lanka to teach workers there advanced IT skills like Enterprise Java (Java EE) programming, as well as skills in business process outsourcing and call center support. USAID will also help the trainees brush up on their English language proficiency." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "Ten thousand years ago, people in southern China began to cultivate rice and quickly made an all-too-tempting discovery — the cereal could be fermented into alcoholic liquors. Carousing and drunkenness must have started to pose a serious threat to survival because a variant gene that protects against alcohol became almost universal among southern Chinese and spread throughout the rest of China in the wake of rice cultivation.
The variant gene rapidly degrades alcohol to a chemical that is not intoxicating but makes people flush, leaving many people of Asian descent a legacy of turning red in the face when they drink alcohol.
Many have assumed that humans ceased to evolve in the distant past, perhaps when people first learned to protect themselves against cold, famine and other harsh agents of natural selection. But in the last few years, biologists peering into the human genome sequences now available from around the world have found increasing evidence of natural selection at work in the last few thousand years, leading many to assume that human evolution is still in progress." Link to Original Source top
Journalists plot to kill stories critical of Obama
Third Position writes "Employees of news organizations including Time, Politico, the Huffington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the Guardian, Salon and the New Republic participated in outpourings of anger over how Obama had been treated in the media, and in some cases plotted to fix the damage.
In one instance, Spencer Ackerman of the Washington Independent urged his colleagues to deflect attention from Obama's relationship with Wright by changing the subject. Pick one of Obama's conservative critics, Ackerman wrote, "Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares — and call them racists."" Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "A Pennsylvania-based information technology partner of IBM is suing the technology giant for some $100 million, alleging a Ponzi scheme and racketeering.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Pennsylvania on June 16, Devon IT accused IBM and several senior executives by name of misusing $12 million that Devon invested in two IBM projects.
“As part of their scheme, the RICO Defendants intentionally misrepresented the market potential of the products they touted and continued to demand funding from Devon – an admittedly smaller company with less resources than IBM – even after the RICO Defendants secretly canceled at least one of the subject development projects,” the company alleges in the suit." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "Showing Chinese sweatshop workers slumped over their desks with exhaustion, it is an image that Microsoft won't want the world to see. Employed for gruelling 15-hour shifts, in appalling conditions and 86f heat, many fall asleep on their stations during their meagre ten-minute breaks. For as little as 34p an hour, the men and women work six or seven days a week, making computer mice and web cams for the American multinational computer company.
Third Position writes "NASA on Tuesday signed a contract to pay $55.8 million per astronaut for six Americans to fly into space on Russian Soyuz capsules in 2013 and 2014. NASA needs to get rides on Russian rockets to the International Space Station because it plans to retire the space shuttle fleet later this year. NASA now pays half as much, about $26.3 million per astronaut, when it uses Russian ships." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "According to Einstein's theory of general relativity, a moving mass should create another field, called gravitomagnetic field, besides its static gravitational field. This field has now been measured for the first time and to the scientists' astonishment, it proved to be no less than one hundred million trillion times larger than Einstein's General Relativity predicts." Link to Original Source top
Third Position writes "The Telegraph reports Oceans of liquid diamond topped with solid "icebergs" of the precious gems could be on Uranus and Neptune. The first ever detailed research into the melting point of diamond found it behaves like water during melting and freezing — with its solid form floating on the liquid. A large diamond ocean on one or both of the planets could provide an explanation for an oddity they both share. The two giant gas planets, unlike Earth, do not have magnetic poles which match up with their geographical poles." Link to Original Source